This past year has been an intense one – not because of my reading, but because of my “day job” and everyday life in general. So getting away from it all with books has been especially important for me. As I wait on a book tour to publish one of my reviews, and work on another, I noticed that a fellow blogger, Stuck in a Book, posted his 2015 reading statistics, which I liked so much, I stole it from him; so here goes my 2015 reading statistics.
Number of books read
According to Goodreads, I read 32 books this year, of which I’ve published reviews for 30 of them. That is down from 2014, but I had more free time that year (as well as more instances where I had time to kill and used those as opportunities to read). I’ve also put down 30 books for my Goodreads 2016 challenge, and if things stay the way they are, I don’t think I’ll surpass it by much.
Only 9 by men, and 32 by women – that makes some sense. I probably do tend towards female writers. However, I don’t think either men or women dominate the genres I tend to read.
I read only one non-fiction book this past year, and all the rest were fiction. Yes, I’m into escapism, and I feel no compulsion to change that. Even the one non-fiction book I read had something to do with literature! While Stuck in a Book didn’t put this into his list, I would like to note that I read only two collections of short stories this year, and I hope that next year I will read more. In fact, I’m almost certain of it since I already have two collections on my 2016 reading list.
Books in translation
I only read three translated books this past year, but that’s about par for the course for me. Mind you, I already purchased two translated books for reading this coming year, and I’m hoping I’ll get another one by an author I adore, so who knows if that will rise next year.
One, but I didn’t add it to my Goodreads lists and don’t consider it among the books I read or would ever review because it was total and utter crap! (The author invited me to read it and it was one of those Amazon specials, but YUCK!)
Sorry, I simply don’t read enough books to read more than one by the same author in the same year. However, of the authors I read during 2014, I read books by six of them again in 2015. If we consider this, the winner is Rachel Joyce – I read her Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy this year, and last year I read Perfect as well as her short story A Faraway Smell of Lemon. (Note to Rachel Joyce: please publish another book; I need to read your writing again!)
I did start reading Selma Lagerlöf’s Jerusalem, published in 1902, but I got bored with it so I gave up. I also read the short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman published in 1892. I don’t count this among my 2015 books since I read it as research for a review of another book. However, after loving that story, I did buy a collection of her works including her novella Herland that includes this story. I hope to read this during 2016. With those out of the way, the oldest published book I read this year came out in 2010! That’s no surprise because I’ll read an ARC of a book over an already published one, every time!
Sorry, but this category doesn’t speak to me at all. Since my dyslexia makes me a slow reader, and with time limitations due to my “day job,” I just don’t have the luxury of re-reading books. In fact, aside from the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, I don’t think I’ve ever re-read any book (I read that one three times, at least).
Of the 32 books I read, 21 were by authors I was reading for the first time! Yeah, I love reading works by authors who are new to me, and if it’s their first novel, all the better!
Most disappointing book
There is no doubt in my mind that Ann Packer’s novel, The Children’s Crusade, was a true disappointment. Not because the writing wasn’t good, but because, well, it just didn’t work as a whole.
Could anyone resist reading a book called Food Whore? I couldn’t, and brava to Jessica Tom for that (by the way, I hope that if they make the film of this book, they don’t shy away from using the original title).
The most inappropriate book title was The Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford. I liked the book but the title is pretentious (as is the cover) and doesn’t fit the atmosphere of the book at all.
Animals in book titles
Here’s another category that’s not for me since I’m not much of an animal lover. This is partially due to allergies, so I tend to prefer people or my solitude. The only book that comes close is Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka.
Strange things that happened in books I read in 2015
Ordinarily, this category would be very slim for me, but I think this year it will have more than usual. For example, practically everything that happens in Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie is strange. Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last is also full of weird goings on. In fact, strange things happened in practically every book I read. This goes from crazy disguises that fall apart the middle of meals, a seemingly ferocious dog protecting a seven-year-old girl, and a man imagining he’s found a secret room at work. What surprises me is that there are so many more examples to choose from, but these stand out as the strongest ones.
Thank you Stuck in a Book, for this great blog post idea!
For my overview of my favorite 2015 books, read my blog post here.